Advice to my undergrad self

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Disclaimer: This is just advice, not a full proof plan to success. Hope it helps! Now let’s get into this list!

#1. Do more internships

End of blog. That’s it. Nothing else.

No really, I can not stress enough on the importance of this!

Once you graduate, companies ignorantly expect you to have 2+ years of experience THE MOMENT you walk off the stage! It’s annoying, but the best way to combat it is to have a couple of internships under your belt OR to try to find a job before you graduate.

I’d advise you to start sophomore year, but if not try to do multiple internships at a time and plan your class schedule around your work/internship schedule (online classes are your friend…usually)

#2. Get out of your dorm/apartment!

Go to as many campus events as possible! Life gets a little uneventful once you graduate and finding things to do is more like a chore than a delight. Also, they normally have free food, and who doesn’t love free food!?

#3. Keep up with your student ID

For those times where restaurants, clothing stores, etc. offer student discounts… Even if you’re not a student anymore, what they don’t know won’t hurt them, right?

#4. Invest in people

You’ll soon realize some people were temporary friends just because you saw them often and liked them. If you find a group that adds to your life (and you add to theirs), invest in them, call and check on them and plan meet ups. Making friends after college is exhausting.

#5. Make a plan

But don’t be upset if it doesn’t work out. Look at the requirements for the jobs you’re interested in and start accomplishing them! Being a self-starter is something most businesses look for, it just sounds easier than what it really is!

 

Top 7 Things to do After Graduating

  1. Buy big girl/boy clothes– Don’t drop a fortune just yet. Remember, you’re still broke, just educated. Try to catch all the New York & Company and Express sales, you’ll be interviewing often! Less leggings and joggers, more slacks!
  2. Celebrate! YOU JUST GRADUATED. That is a huge accomplishment and you deserve to have a drink (…or three)
  3. Get your resume application ready! You want to apply to jobs as much as possible so you can choose from multiple offers/businesses. Take off things that don’t seem valuable to the company and have multiple resumes that mirror the company’s needs!
  4.  No really, work on your resume. (This is actually tip number 3.5) Your resume should change based off of what position and company you are applying for (see more about this, read ‘Got the degree, now what?’)
  5. Budget– This is the perfect time to get your finances in order! Start making it a habit and you’ll be well prepared in the future! If you haven’t already, start an emergency fund and mentally plan out how you want to allocate your money (even if you don’t have much yet)
  6. Travel– with this newfound budget, make sure you use all this free time to accomplish some things off your bucket list! If you’re not married or have children, go ahead and get your travel on before you have to be responsible!
  7. Stay positive and reward yourself- you may be getting a lot of rejection emails from companies but you can’t dwell on the negative! Self-care and mental health is more important than anything!
  8. Use LinkedIn– get connections and use them! The amount of people on LinkedIn is ridiculous, the opportunity to connect with CEOs and business professionals can help you in the long run.

Post Graduate Depression

IMG_0142.JPGOvercoming post-graduate depression

Most people don’t believe that this is a real thing. Some understand but ignore the issue.

As a recent graduate with some experience under her belt and determined to make something of herself, I’ve probably applied to 50+ companies in the past month with 50+ rejections or vacant responses.

Interviewing has become exhausting and applying, in general, seems to be hopeless. Obviously, I won’t give up because I strive to be excellent however some people may not be as optimistic. Job seekers, take a step back. You are valuable, you are worth it, and you will persevere.

The first step of entering into this new realm of life is understanding timing. Not everyone will receive their dream job offer the day after they walk off the stage and that’s OKAY.

Look at every job you have/had as experience. Even though you don’t have your dream job yet, look up job qualifications for that job and gain them somewhere else. By doing this, it makes the time between finding your perfect job profitable and helpful.

Self care is a mandatory step in job searching and post-grad life.

Even if you are in your career already, understanding and addressing the fact that this is a big change from being in college is important. If you enjoy going out in college, go out every now and then! Experience every stage in your life fully and appropriately.

Schedule out your days. Have a specific time where you check job feedback emails and when that time is up, STOP. Receiving “no’s” randomly all day will stress anybody out!

Your feelings are valid

Do not be afraid to voice and embrace what you are feeling. You don’t want to linger on the negative but it is important to address it and talk to a close friend or counselor about it.

 

Got the degree…now what?!

Woo-hoo! *cues alma mater and fight song

So you’ve graduated college, you’ve endured those long and stressful four years of partying, socializing and occasional learning and now….

Now what?!

Professionals have stressed the importance of college and drilled it into our minds but what are the steps after we’ve been thrown into the wilderness aka the “real world”?

If you are anything like me, you’ve applied to 30+ jobs a week, hoping that the one internship and countless campus leadership positions would somehow be enough for these Fortune 500 companies looking for a young, recent college graduate with 5+ years of experience (sooo achievable….NOT!). Then, by some miracle, you’ve found an open position that you’re actually qualified for and now you’re stumped.

Here are a few things that have helped me in my search!

  1. DON’T JUST APPLY- If you are using sites like Glassdoor.com (great for comparing salaries and seeing company reviews) or any other job board site, be sure to follow up with and email the hiring manager; they get hundreds of applications so make sure they remember you!
  2. USE YOUR CONNECTIONS– LinkedIn allows you to reach out to any of your connections, so connect with hiring managers and CEOs and engage in conversation! Not just “hey give me a job” but ask actual questions that they’ll care about (what’s their favorite part about working there? what advice can they give?) and market yourself!
  3. REVISE YOUR RESUME OFTEN- Do not have just one generic resume, one company may be interested in all the different creative measures you can do while another may simply be more statistics driven. Customize your resume AND cover letter for each application 

 

Happy job hunting! Don’t get discouraged because it’s only the beginning! You can’t reach the top without taking the first steps!